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The Good Life
US Ski Team’s 5 Essential Ski Training Exercises

So many signs!

If you’re brand new to skiing/ boarding and have no idea what all the little symbols at the bottom of the map are for, then you’ve come to the right place!

There are many different symbols you’ll need to learn throughout your skiing experience.

The first symbol you should know is the green circle. greenThis means you’re on the easiest runs on the mountain. At this level you’ll be learning the basics of skiing/boarding, such as stopping, turning, and gaining your balance. Most green runs are groomed and soft. Some resorts rate their runs with either one or two green circles. It all depends on the elevation and slope of the runs. For example, Sunrise Park resort rates their runs with one green circle, while Telluride rates theirs with one or two.

The second symbol you’ll need to know is the blue square, which means you’re on the higher level beginner/intermediate runs.


On these runs you should be able turn, control your speed, and stop comfortably. Some blue runs are groomed, some are harder packed and bumpy. You shouldn’t move to this level unless you’re completely comfortable on your skis/board. Sunrise Park Resort marks all of their intermediate trails with one blue square.

The third symbols you need to know about are the black diamond and double black diamond.

black diamond2 black diamonds

It’s helpful to know these symbols right off the bat. You really don’t want to end up going down a black by accident when you’re still working on greens or blues. If you’re skiing black runs you’re able to adjust to any type of terrain and maintain control. You’ll want to start out on the easier runs if you’re visiting a new resort, even if you’re a great skier.

Know Your Waxes

There’s a lot to learn when you first start skiing or boarding. You have to find out what length you like best, whether you prefer a certain brand over another, how to use your bindings…the list goes on and on. There does, however, seem to be one important thing people tend to forget or not know about when they’re thinking about skiing/boarding and that’s wax!

Wax is important for speed, control, turning, and protection of the equipment. There are a few different types of wax out there. There’s a liquid puck wax, which comes in a small bottle and is applied with a sponge (sponge is generally included with the wax).

liquidIt can be applied minutes before you go skiing/boarding. Simply apply 6-8 drops of liquid wax onto the sponge and rub it onto the base of your ski/board and that’s it! There’s no need to scrape off your old wax before you apply the liquid wax. We carry liquid wax here at The Skier’s Edge for just $18.00!

The second type of wax you should know about is a glide wax.


This wax is applied quite differently than the liquid wax. First, you must scrape off the old wax with a scraper. You can pick up a scraper at your local ski shop (The Skier’s Edge) for around $10-15 bucks. Next you need to use a brass brush to thoroughly clean the base. This will open the structure of the ski, making it more receptive to the new wax. After the base is clean you can apply new wax. Make sure you cover the entire base and let the ski/board sit for about ten minutes to let the wax dry. When it’s dry take your scraper and scrape the wax to a thin coat. Brush the wax again to open up the structure and wallah! you’re ready for the mountain. You can get this wax done at a ski shop for $5 or d.i.y. before you head to the slopes for the day.


The last type of wax you should know about is the iron on wax. You can do this yourself at home the night before you go skiing/boarding. Scrape off the old wax with a scraper. Take a piece of hard wax and rub it onto the base. Next hold the wax over the base and drip it over the ski. You can use a lighter to melt the wax. Then take your iron (irons cost about $90) and run it over the base to make sure you cover the entire surface. When you’re done ironing just let the ski/board sit for about 5 minutes. Last, scrape all the excess wax off the base and you’re good to go!

If you need scrapers, wax, or an iron you can come into the Skier’s Edge and pick up everything you need!